I'm assuming that, by the time many of you read this, Al Franken will have resigned his Senate seat, and I'm posting Steve Sack's take for two reasons:
One is that he's the cartoonist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and thus has standing to criticize his home state's senator.
The other is that he goes after the "innocent affection" defense, which reminds me of a young teacher I knew who, when she achieved tenure, told me she was pleased that there would now be "no more supportive hugs" from her principal.
Or, at least, none that she couldn't protest and refuse.
A goddam sad state of affairs when that's the first benefit she thought of.
I've noted before that, while I admire Franken's sharp mind and occasionally sharp tongue in the Senate, he's part of that Lampoon/SNL Ivy League/St. Grottlesex coterie who made racist, sexist humor edgy and cool in the Seventies.
He may not have been the worst of the lot, but he lay down with the dogs and now he's getting up with the fleas.
It's understandable that people might think Franken's resignation would necessarily spark a special election, particularly since he only won by a razor-thin margin in the first place. But the likeliest scenario is that the governor will appoint a replacement and, if there is a special election, it will be to replace that person, not Franken.
Here are the relevant facts: Democrats hold five of eight Congressional seats in Minnesota, both Senators are Democrats and -- most important -- so is the governor, who will presumably name Franken's replacement, assuming the vacancy happens as expected.
So now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
A reasonable question, yes, but I haven't come up with an answer to the silly one I've seen, which is why the Democrats aren't also pressuring Republicans to resign.
Maybe for the same reason that, if a McDonald's manager can fire a fry cook for always being late, he doesn't also fire the fry cooks at Burger King when they aren't on time.
But Matt Davies points out that both parties are equally willing to show sexual predators the door, so there ya go.
So where are we headed? I expect we'll see more of the same, given that Time magazine, one of the great followers of fads and social trends, has named the #MeToo crew People of the Year, while, as Michael de Adder notes, we all know who the Chief Sexual Predator of the United States is.
For the moment, the OJ Defense seems to be working for Trump: Simply deny the obvious evidence and hope group loyalty will prevail over justice.
My guess is that more heads will roll, and that, when women see that speaking up does have results, there will be a torrent.
And some men will be able to apologize and move on.
I always wondered why Clarence Thomas didn't simply say, "I was going through a divorce and it was a very bad time in my life and I'm ashamed of the way I behaved."
But the fact that he used denial instead of that defense is self-explanatory: He's an asshole.
And I suspect that being an asshole is not going to work out as well in the future as it did back then.
Stock up on the Preparation H, boys; it's gonna be a bumpy night.
Meanwhile, in other stupid moves
Kevin Siers comments on Dear Leader's latest tone-deaf, clumsy bit of international interference.
Hollywood has always loved the "plain guy put in charge" movie, where Jimmy Stewart or Kevin Kline or some other average fella somehow gets the reins of power and defies all the powerbrokers and the naysayers and, by golly, makes everything work just the way it oughta.
Now we're finding out how it actually come out when the guy in charge doesn't know how anything works.
Some rightwing cartoonists are cheering that Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but I suspect there is more Islamophobia than thoughtfulness in their praise.
Though if some good ol' reggilar guy coulda been in the White House, we'd have solved that Palestinian crisis years ago.
The way ol' Georgie W solved our problems in Iraq and Afghanistan: Just go get the bad guys so's the good guys can take over!
Siers isn't the only cartoonist to have his doubts about simpleminded approaches to complex situations. Some a little closer to the scene are also dubious.
And you don't even have to agree with Lebanese cartoonist Swaha to see her point and to appreciate how Trump's ill-considered diplomatic coup-de-main is being received outside of Israel.
There is so much to love about this cartoon, from the typography that gives the lie to American neutrality in the region to the use of dome of the al-Aqsa Mosque to the blood dripping from the edge of the Palestinian flag that, even if you think a two-state solution is a bad idea, even if you think giving Israel all it wants is the key to peace in the region, you have to admire her work from a strictly technical point of view.
But of course Israel's neighbors are angry. Everybody should be: It was a dumb, clumsy, stupid move.
I saw Tom Friedman on Blitzer last night and he asked, if Trump were intent on declaring Jerusalem the capital, why he didn't have the common sense to get something in return?
He could easily have required an end to settlements in the Palestinian territories.
Obviously, Friedman mistook Trump for someone who makes deals that work, that don't end up in bankruptcy, lawsuits and unpaid contractors. See Siers cartoon, above.
And Moroccan cartoonist Abdelghani Dahdouh finds a way -- as he often does -- to inject a little humor into some biting commentary.
As noted yesterday, it's a gift to be able to provoke a chuckle where there is nothing to laugh about.
Now here's your moment of zen: